All Hail the return of the Rosicky!

All Hail the return of the Rosicky!

It looks like we will see the return of Tomas Rosicky during the 2009-10 season.  I for one am very excited about this.  As long as Rosicky can stay injury free, I genuinely feel we are getting back one of our top players.  I do not think people realise what a difference Rosicky makes to our squad and what he brings to the side on the pitch.
I understand that there are many question marks over his fitness after such a long absence.  However, I want to defend Tomas over his injury problems.  Many have claimed it has been his fault despite clear things that show the contrary.  Doctors were unable to locate the real problem and only after exploratory surgery did they isolate the root of the problem.  Once that was healed, Rosicky has been able to begin his long road to recovery.  Believe me, after doctors did not know what was wrong with him and people began to question his future in the game, kicking a ball again must be tough.
When it was clear that he would not play last season but that full training was within his grasp, I thought that Wenger really must let this guy settle back in.  His body will have changed but he is at an age where he can still rediscover his best form.  Pires did it after his horrific knee injury and is still playing at the top level.  He gave us many brilliant years after his injury and I hope people are patient with Rosicky as I believe he can do the same.
The first thing that Rosicky brings to the squad is much needed experience.  He has played in many international tournaments, captains his country and has played in the Premiership before his injury.  He is accustomed to the pace of the game and is able to provide leadership to the young squad.  We need players like this around; players that have a winning mentality and are in the prime time of their careers.  Rosicky is one.
The next thing that Rosicky brings is quality on the ball.  I remember that one of the main reasons we did so well the season before last was that our midfield could carry the ball.  Although Nasri is still settling in, at times he struggled to impose himself on games.  Rosicky was able to carry the ball and dictate play.  He provided a different option when Fabregas was closed down.  Teams were wary of giving him space because they knew he was a threat on the ball.  This allowed Cesc to find space on the ball whereas this season, at times, teams knew that if they could stifle Cesc, much of our play would be halted.
Another reason that teams would not allow Rosicky too much space was because they knew he had an end product.  He was able to spot a killer pass to a team mate or was able to pull the trigger.  Rosicky scored some crackers for us and right now some of our players seem too scared to shoot when afforded space; not Tomas.  This brings defenders out as they know they need to shut him down.  When Cesc was in goalscoring form in 2007/08, it was often after Rosicky, or Hleb, had drawn the attention of the opposition, allowing Cesc to find room in and around the box.  This often went unnoticed but it was crucial during our purple patch; when Rosicky was out, Cesc’s goals began to dry up.
One aspect of our play that has receded is our counter attacking.  With Walcott and Arshavin, there is encouragement that this will be rekindled.  However, what we lacked was someone to carry the ball out at pace and pick the right ball to spring such quick attacks.  Rosicky was brilliant at this because he felt so comfortable running with the ball at pace, as well as having the intelligence to choose the right pass at the right time.
Wenger has also mentioned that he may look to play 3 central midfielders when Walcott is in the side. This suggests to me a formation that leaves Arshavin out wide with a free role.  Nasri has laid down his claim for a place alongside Cesc and one other but Rosicky did this role very well in his debut season.  He does not mind getting stuck in and is keen to track back for the good of the team.  His work rate was something I always admired and I think a worker in central midfield will really help to win the ball back early and press teams.  He can also drive through the middle which we have not seen too much.
When Rosicky got injured against Newcastle in January 2008, many did not think we would miss his presence too much, the form we had continued.  I know that the main reason for our slump was the absence of Eduardo, but Rosicky’s injury also hit us hard.  I believe that in the crucial games against United and Chelsea, someone like Rosicky could have made a difference.  Both those games saw the opposition wrestle victory from us and not enough players were prepared to fight back.  Rosicky was always ready to give his all to win and this mentality, as well as his ability to help create something out of nothing was missed during that crucial period at the end of the season.
Many will doubt Rosicky before he is able to prove his fitness is good enough.  I am more than happy to give him the time to find his feet again, boost his confidence and hopefully hit the ground running.  There is no doubt in my mind that we have missed him and I am glad to have our no.7 back.  Let’s hope he can have the same impact post injury as our previous legendary no.7.
If anyone has forgotten him, here are two videos which show his work in an Arsenal shirt
Rosicky Video Part 1
Rosicky Video Part 2

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